Fish Post

North Myrtle Beach Winter 2013-2014

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Jim Cathey, of Concord, NC, with a 36" red drum that bit a frozen finger mullet near Little River.

Jim Cathey, of Concord, NC, with a 36″ red drum that bit a frozen finger mullet near Little River.

Mark, of Shallow Minded Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that anglers are seeing some excellent speckled trout action around Little River right now. Most of the fish have been on the small side, but larger specks are feeding in some of the local creeks and around the Little River jetties. Artificials like D.O.A., Vudu, and Live Target shrimp have been tempting plenty of bites from the trout, with the D.O.A.’s the most productive lure recently.

Red drum are starting to school up in the shallow creeks and backwaters in the area, where they’ll be feeding all winter long. Fishing slowly is key to success with the cool water reds, as they’re lethargic and won’t move too far to chase down a lure. Gulp shrimp crawled along the bottom are the best bets on the colder days, with Gulp swimming mullet producing as well when the water’s a bit warmer. In general, warmer days with low tide around midday produce the best action with the winter reds.

Patrick, of Capt. Smiley’s Fishing Charters, reports that the speckled trout bite is on in the area. Anglers have been catching big numbers in the creeks and at spots off the ICW, though they seem to vary in size from day-to-day, with some days producing all solid fish and others all shorts. Live shrimp and a wide variety of artificials will fool the specks. The bite should hold up through January barring any extremely cold weather.

Mitch Barber with a 32 lb. cobia that bit a blue/white-skirted ballyhoo near the Horseshoe while he was fishing with his father and friends on the "Wavepounder."

Mitch Barber with a 32 lb. cobia that bit a blue/white-skirted ballyhoo near the Horseshoe while he was fishing with his father and friends on the “Wavepounder.”

Anglers can also chase schooling red drum in the area’s shallow creeks and flats during the cool months. Anglers with shallow-draft skiffs and flats boats can search for the reds in the backwaters and cast Gulp baits or other artificial lures to the fish they spot to hook up.

Black drum are other potential winter targets and should be feeding around oyster bars and docks into January. Fresh cut shrimp on jigheads and bottom rigs will fool the other drum.

Mike, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that anglers are hooking some sea mullet and smaller bluefish on bottom rigs baited with shrimp and cut baits from the pier. Some smaller red drum have been mixed in.

The water is 56 degrees, and as long as it stays in the 50’s, anglers may see action with sea mullet, red drum, and a few bluefish throughout the winter. If it cools enough to push the speckled trout out of the local backwaters they may be available targets as well.